The number of channels available for associations to use in their marketing and communications efforts only continues to grow. Members’ expectations for how and when you communicate with them have also expanded right along with the number of channels available for doing so. With so many options, it will take careful planning to determine which ones have been and will be most effective for your organization.
I like the approach to communications and marketing planning for the New Year that Cheryl Smithem of Charleston Public Relations and Design recently outlined in a post on the firm’s website. “The greatest issue is knowing where you want to take your business in the coming year. Answering this question requires honesty and truthfulness with yourself,” she wrote.
Smithem also directs site visitors to an excellent marketing and communications planning questionnaire built around five central questions that I think you’ll find particularly relevant as you begin or continue this process for your association:
- What marketing communications’ goals did you achieve that you wanted to achieve this year?
- Is there a major goal you did not achieve this year?
- What are the five marketing communications activities to you want to add to your marketing plan in the New Year?
- What do you believe your customers/members need most of all next year—either in services or products from your organization?
- How will you measure your marketing communications achievements next year?
This last question about measurement is near and dear to our hearts here at Fonteva. We’ve worked hard to provide our association clients with flexible reporting capabilities and dashboards that make it simple for them to measure and track their progress towards goals in a variety of areas, including marketing and communications.
Hopefully, you’ve got access to good data, you ask the important questions and you make your plans for marketing and communicating effectively next year.